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Soviet aircraft designers in the Gulag

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by airacobra42, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. airacobra42

    airacobra42 New Member

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    I'm an aviation man, but I'm trying to find out more about Soviet defense production during the war. I know that Tupolev designed the Tu-2 and Petlyakov designed the Pe-2 while in a prison camp, but did this happen with other pieces of equipment? Aircraft engineers who were found to be so-called enemies of the people were sent to a special NKVD prison camp that focused on aircraft design, but were there similar ones for tanks, guns, etc? Here's more on aircraft... https://vvswarbirds.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/aviation-design-in-the-gulag-and-the-development-of-the-tu-2/
     
  2. EagleSquadron12

    EagleSquadron12 New Member

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    The Russians designed planes? I thought they just stole designs from allied countries like Britain and the US...Im just kidding...but were they really sent to the Gulag or is that a fabricated story
     
  3. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

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    Polikarpow the same story.
    This was the Stalin method to motivate people.
    That's why he is regarded as a true monster today.
     
  4. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Not sure those "camps" were comparable to Gulags, the sort of conditions the axis POWs and the majority of the victims of Stalin's paranoia had to endure were unlikely to produce effective designs The conditions Soviet POWs were even worse a huge number of them died before even ever reaching a camp but the Germans used POWs as unskilled laborers not as designers.
     
  5. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

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    Of course they could work. That was the idea behind it: send them to a camp, if their work is successful, they could leave again.
    It's clear, what Stalin expected: The prisoners work like mad and the others too, not to be sent in prison. A cheap way of motivation.

    Hitler and the western allies had chosen another method (money, titles etc.) and this one was far more successful. The Red Air Force was ahead of its time until the mid 30ies and years behind the others in 1945.
     
  6. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    There were different level of Gulags. The aircraft ones were decent and were designed to support the work rather then leave few if any survivors
     
  7. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    There is little evidence the Gulags were designed to "leave few if any survivors", death rates in POW camps from all sides were sometimes pretty high but shortage or resources not policy was the cause. Nazi Germany made massive use of what was basically slave labor and even the German workers didn't have an easy time of it, Hitler's raise to power was supported by a lot of industrialists and rewarded by strongly limiting worker rights. The result was shoddy quality and occasional sabotage.
     
  8. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

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    Not those for the engineers for sure. Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt...they all pampered their ingenious engineers like Messerschmidt, Barnes Wallis etc. But Stalin did the opposite, his engineers worked with a Commissar standing behind them.
     

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